Photos courtesy of Kyungsub Shin
SONGWON ART CENTER
Buk-Chon, where Songwon Art Center is located, is one of the few areas that were less affected by the heavy wave of development that has been sweeping through Korea since the fifties.
The townscape is based on an irregular network of streets that weave through the area, where the han-ok is the dominating architectural typology. During the past 10 years Buk-Chon has seen lots of buzz primarily caused by the newfound interest of the public on the traditional townscapes. Han-oks (traditional Korean houses) have become a subject of admiration again, and many commercial/ cultural businesses have been brought into the area to take advantage of this setup.
In this social context, it is consensual that any new development in the area intrinsically faces the challenge to simultaneously conserve existing values, and contribute in a new way to what already is. Not surprisingly, with our project we faced numerous restrictions and conditions that were inherent to the site. The design development process took an unusual amount of time – as we neither wanted this project to become a compromise to the restrictions nor a mere negotiation between the contextual obligations. The design is a result of optimizing the parameters, sensitively reacting to the surrounding and simultaneously developing a rigorous logic.